Repairing a Furnace

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You might be surprised to find out that there are a few furnace repairs you can probably handle on your own. Learning a few repairs and maintenance tips could help you keep your furnace running longer and could also save you a lot of money that you might have otherwise spent on a repair person. Of course, there will probably be some repairs outside of your skill set, so, if you ever face problem you can't diagnose or is potentially dangerous to deal with, it's best to call in an expert.

Repair Tips

Here a few common problems and how to fix them:
  • Thermostat - Oftentimes, this simple problem is overlooked. You or someone could fairly easily have accidently turned the thermostat down without realizing it. This is especially the case with digital control pads, which can be complicated. Before you do anything else and, if necessary, using the users manual, make sure the thermostat is set properly.

  • Breakers - Check the breaker box to see if the breaker for the furnace has been tripped or the fuse blown. If so, reset or replace the breaker/fuse. If the problem persists, call an electrician, as this can be an indication of faulty wiring.

  • Reset - Many times fixing your furnace is as simple as pushing a button. Your furnace has a (probably red) reset button that will shut the furnace down and restart it (much like restarting your computer when there's a problem). If the blower is working, but there's no heat, the burner is probably out. Hit the reset button and the burner should come back to life.

  • Air filter - If the burner seems to be working and the fan is running, but there's little-to-no warm air coming through, the air filter is probably dirty. Simply clean or replace the air filter and the problem should be solved. Air filters should be replaced about once every 30 days.

Cleaning Your Furnace

Over time, there are different parts of the furnace that can get dirty, causing it to run less efficiently than it should. Cleaning your furnace will help it run better. Of course, for safety's sake, make sure the furnace is off before doing any cleaning.

Start with the burner. Clean any dirt or soot that has built up, and make sure all the gas lines aren't leaking. Make sure, when cleaning, not to use any flammable cleaning agents. Next, take a look at the fan. Spinning fan blades will accumulate dirt and dust after awhile. Wipe these clean with a damp cloth. These two areas are the most crucial, but if any other spots on your furnace look dirty, it can't hurt to wipe them down. Make sure your ducts and vents are clean as well.

If, after attempting these repairs or cleaning tips, you still have problems, call a repairperson. Any other repairs are difficult and could be harmful to you or your furnace if not done properly. Hopefully, though, with regular cleaning and maintenance, you'll be able to avoid those calls and rely on your heater on even the coldest days.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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